In 2016, the Maryland Public Service Commission adopted final community solar regulations for the state’s three-year pilot project. These forward-thinking regulations remove barriers to renewable energy adoption by allowing renters to contract for solar energy and includes about 60 MW for projects focused on low and moderate income customers. If this initiative is successful, Maryland will continue to be one of only 11 states to have community solar programs.

Later that year John Mariani, an architect and a Baltimore native reached out Solar United Neighbors of Maryland with an idea to take advantage of the Community Solar Panel pilot program by developing a community solar project on the roof of his rental property in Baltimore City. In April 2017, with the support of Delegate Clippinger, John filled out the application required to develop community solar with the Public Service Commission (PSC). By June, the application was approved, and the project began to move forward. “As the lead sponsor of community solar in Maryland, I’m excited to see the first community solar project come on line in my district,” said Del. Clippinger. “Community solar will expand access to generating solar energy and lower electricity costs for thousands of Marylanders. I will continue to advocate and support this important program in Annapolis.”

John then decided that the right company for the design and installation of the 9kW system was the same one that Solar United Neighbors has selected for their Montgomery County Solar Co-op, Solar Energy World. The system is only a little larger than an average residential project, but it was designed to maximize the potential capacity on the roof space available at his rental property and offset the energy costs of John’s his rental property, main residence (on the same block), and the home of his sister—which is over 30 minutes away, but in the same utility area.

The system was turned on in March 2018 and the subscribers to his system saw their first solar energy credits on their bill in May. This project, the first community solar project in the state of Maryland, is the true definition of community solar. “We are proud to be part of one of the newest solar programs available in Maryland,” said Geoff Mirkin, CEO of Solar Energy World, the company John selected to install the system. “It is always exciting to find more ways where folks can benefit financially and environmentally from solar!”

With thousands of custom installations since opening in 2009, Solar Energy World is the fastest growing, locally-owned and operated solar company in the Maryland/DC metro area. The Elkridge showroom-headquarters is open to the public 9am to 5pm, Monday thru Friday and powered by a 48kW solar system designed and installed by company employees. Committed to protecting the environment and promoting clean, renewable energy, Solar Energy World provides sustainable energy solutions for homeowners that include high quality products guaranteed to operate efficiently and remain safe for the environment over their entire lifetime.